In the battle against phones like the Galaxy S4 and tablets like the rumored iPad 5, Microsoft is often seen as an afterthought. The upcoming Windows Blue 8.1, though, may actually be able to change that.
Whether you love or hate Windows 8, pretty much everyone agrees that the new operating system was a dramatic changeup compared to its predecessors. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the company has had a tough time getting most people to love it. According to Acer, however, improvements in the new Windows Blue 8.1 update will help the mobile version of the OS to make gains against Apple and Android, even as devices like the Galaxy S4 and iPad 5 hit the market.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Acer President Jim Wong pointed to Microsoft's dominance in productivity as an advantage. Perhaps he feels that if Microsoft can begin syncing up its mobile OS more with the needs of enterprise, mobile devices running Windows 8 will have a distinct advantage over competitors.
"'Windows for now is still a leader in the productivity field," he said. Over the course of the next year, Wong thinks that improvements to the OS and a field of new products could help Windows make inroads against Apple and Android.
"We have high hopes," he told Bloomberg.
As Wong sees it, the main problem with Windows' mobile version is the fact that Microsoft is still lagging behind in apps. Windows Store doesn't offer nearly the selection as iOS and Android, so prospective iPad 5 or Galaxy S4 buyers won't be compelled to switch until products like the Surface (or Acer's rumored 8-inch Windows 8 tablet) have beefed up their app selection.
Fortunately, Microsoft seems to be working on this. If rumors are to be believed, the company is planning to announce that Instagram and other apps will be available in Windows Store at the reveal of the Lumia 928 from Nokia. That won't be enough to close the gap on its own, but if Microsoft continues to get important app developers on board, it could coax reluctant hardware makers to create more Windows 8 tablets / phones. In that case, then Wong might be right in saying that Windows could rival Apple and Google.